The story of Grant Advance is a story that begins with a young Executive Director struggling to secure grant funding for their organization. And if you currently work in fundraising you are probably all too aware of how challenging it can be to successfully apply for grants. This is particularly frustrating in the early years of a career, especially as you see other non-profits successfully tap into this funding stream while you are struggling to even identify potential funders.
The biggest problem however is time! Who has the time to first learn how, and then to actually write, grant applications? Your days are already full planning meetings, preparing budgets, managing staff and volunteers, and sometimes, just unclogging toilets? Besides, fundraising is not usually anyone’s favourite activity. This makes putting it off an easy thing to do – even though it is perhaps an Executive Directors’ most important responsibility.
And that is where our story starts. When the initial team met together to design our system, we gathered a group of people that had experience and knowledge, not just with technology, but with running non-profits and with fundraising. They became excited about the opportunity to invest their experience in developing a software solution specifically for grant funding. Also, it was decided that it would be the team members that had served on the front lines that would drive the design and development of our software. By putting themselves back in the position of their “inexperienced” selves, they asked the simple question, “what would I have needed back then in order to be successful?”
It was an exciting challenge. It meant that every screen design, every button, and every function of the system had to be there for a very practical reason. If it did not make things easier, quicker, and more efficient, then it was back to the drawing board.
Since launching in 2014, Grant Advance has never left the drawing board. We go back, and back again. We listen to the most pressing issues facing our clients and look for practical solutions to real problems. It has been a fun and worthwhile pursuit that daily animates our entire team to continue to strive for excellence.